They call it Winterpeg. The winters are long and cold in Manitoba Canada's "friendly province" . Manitoba is the land of 100,000 lakes and now vineyards! Thats right Winnipeg based Shrugging Doctor Brewing Company as gone from producing cider, mead and fruit wines in producing grape wines.
Grape wines whose grapes are actually grown in Manitoba The grapes are grown near Winkler, a small city about 100 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg. Shrugging Doctor Brewing Company was incorporated in April 2016 by two Winnipeggers; Zach Isaacs and Willows Christopher. Their challenge was to find the right grapes to suite the provinces weather. They chose Vadal- cliche grown in Quebec and Frontenac which is also grown in Quebec, Maritimes and Northern BC.
Created by Joseph Vandal and developed by Mario Cliche, a professor at the ITA St-Hyacinthe, Quebec The vineyard of St. Petronilla was the first to cultivate commercially. It has since been adopted by many Quebec vineyards.
Its great hardiness allows it to withstand the cold down to - 35 ° C without protection
is a French-American hybrid grapevine that is a result of research and cross-breeding by the University of Minnesota . It was grown from a crossing of the complex interspecific hybrid Landot 4511 and a very cold hardy selection of Vitis riparia . It was released in 1996.
Zach and Willow have coined the phrase Make Manitoba Grape Again
Zack Isaacs and Willows Christopher photo credit Winnipeg Free Press.